Tiny hand

Tiny hand
November 20, 2010 (one day old)

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Lilypie Premature Baby tickers

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Happy 3rd birthday!

I'm about a month late, but I wanted to share a few words and pictures from Cayden's birthday on November 19th.
The night before his birthday, he did not sleep at ALL - not because he was excited about turning three, but because he was getting sick and coughing incessantly.  I tried EVERYTHING to soothe his cough so he (and I!) could get some sleep, but nothing helped.  Around 2 a.m. he was coughing so hard, he threw up.  Finally, around 3:30, I called the Children's Hospital nurse advice line.  The nurse suggested I give him another dose of albuterol (I had already given him one before I called) as well as a dose of FloVent that we had on hand, but given his history, she suggested I should bring him in to the ER.  My gut feeling was that he didn't need to go, so just to be sure, the nurse paged the on-call doctor to follow up with me by phone. 

I finally spoke to the doctor sometime around 4 a.m.  In the time it took for her to call me back, Cayden's coughing had eased up somewhat, likely in response to the second dose of albuterol and the FloVent, so she felt comfortable telling me that it would be o.k. to wait it out until morning.  Months ago, I had scheduled Cayden's 3-year well-child check up for that afternoon, so worst case, we would see Dr. Rosenberg that afternoon.

I kept him home from preschool that day, but we took Jamison to drop him off at school.  Cayden and I came home and spent the couple of hours at home alone together unwrapping his gifts.  He got an awesome Hess truck and airplane from his Grammy Janene and Poppa Dan, a very cool magnetic puzzle with different colored shapes and designs to copy from Gruncle Don and Graunt Kay, a Magna Doodle from Mommy and Daddy, nice cards with gifts of money from Grandpa Ray, Pau Pau Xian, and Aunt Vicky and Nonna Lena, and cards and letters from Aunt Karin, Uncle Jeff, Tera and Ryan and GG Bea.  He thoroughly enjoyed everything, but I think his favorite item was the singing Elmo birthday card from Grammy and Poppa!


After he finished tearing into all of the presents and cards, it was time to go pick up Jamison from school.  The three of us had a nice little lunch at home then we all tried to take a nap before leaving to go see Dr. Rosenberg. 
Dr. Rosenberg examined Cayden and said he had a nasty respiratory virus, and prescribed Mucinex and continued albuterol and FloVent.  He said Cayden could go to school tomorrow as long as he didn't have a fever (which he never did have).  We had our Nurturing Parenting class that evening, and he said he should be fine to go to that as well.  So after our appointment, we drove across town, had dinner with our Nurturing Parenting class friends, and shared birthday cupcakes with everyone.  Cayden had his after we got home from class:

The meds the doctor prescribed worked wonders and Cayden slept well that night!  The next day, he went to preschool and that evening, we met Laura, AKA Aunt Bee, at Gunther Toody's to have a birthday celebration dinner:

Oh, and just to follow up on the rest of Cayden's check up, he weighed 31 lbs. 4.9 oz (which is near the 50th percentile UNadjusted!!) and is 3 feet, 1 inch tall.  :-)

After the birthday celebration came Thanksgiving.  Despite the fact that Daddy wasn't home, we had a nice dinner with my dear friend, Becky, and her husband, Jim, and another friend of hers named Becky.  I think Cayden ate his weight in turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pie!

Daddy came home on December 16th and Cayden was beyond happy to see him.  We've been enjoying the time together as a family and getting ready for Christmas.  We took the boys to see Santa a couple days ago.  Cayden wasn't shy or afraid, but he didn't ask him for anything specific.  Jamison spoke up for him and asked Santa to bring him a violin (??!!)  and to please bring a banjo for Cayden (??!!) 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Riding the Wave of Fall Fun

I thought I was going to make it through this birthday without any of the flashbacks, panic attacks, or bouts of crying that seem to infiltrate the days and weeks surrounding Cayden's birthday, but it just caught up with me.  At least I made it all the way up until the night before his birthday before it hit.  The waves of tears are flowing, so I'll try to distract myself with happy thoughts of all the fun things we've done over the past couple of months so as not to ruin what should be a joyful celebration of three years of a living miracle!

Daddy was gone from mid-August through mid-October, but we kept ourselves busy up until he came home, then, for the two weeks he was home, we kept even busier!

Unfortunately, Cayden got sick four times in that two month period, and it appears he is coming down with his fifth cold this fall as I type.  One of those colds progressed into an ear infection, but thankfully no croup or anything worse has ever developed.  <knock on wood>

All the colds are no surprise considering how many different play groups/daycares Cayden visits!  Before Cayden started school himself last week, he would come with me to drop Jamison off and pick him up each day at his pre-school.  Of course Cayden had to run into the room and touch as many toys as possible in the few minutes we were there, so there's germ exposure number one for the week.  Then, Cayden and I would often head to the gym so I could exercise and he could play in the gym daycare - germ exposure number two. 

On Tuesdays beginning in September, I started going to a Nurturing Parenting class at a local community college.  It's a 16-week course that basically teaches parents they need to nurture themselves so they can in turn nurture their kids.  Each week, they provide dinner for all of the families, then the kids go to the daycare for two and a half hours while the parents have some adult interaction.  (Germ exposure number 3.)  It's been a great learning experience as well as a wonderful support system for me, and a nice social outlet for the boys.

MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) started up again in September, so every other Friday, we head to the church so I can socialize with other moms and the boys go to Mopettes (child care).  Germ exposure number 4!

We've continued swimming lessons and three weeks ago, Cayden graduated from the parent and tot class to being in the big pool by himself (without Mommy or Daddy, but with an instructor and a few other kids in his class.)  He hasn't been too keen on participating and keeps telling the teacher "No!" or "I don't want to!" when she asks if he wants to do something.  I finally had to tell her that she can't ask him, she just has to tell him - this is what you're going to do!  Yesterday, he got into the pool without too much resistance and no crying, so hopefully he's getting used to the idea.

Before Cayden started pre-school himself, he and I got to tag along with Jamison and his class's field trips.  In September, we went to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.  Jami's class was studying dinosaurs, so we met at that exhibit first but were free to explore the rest of the museum.  It was our first visit, but we will definitely go again soon!  The boys had a great time, especially in the AstroTots section of the Space Exploration exhibit.

In the cockpit of the Space Shuttle!
Mr. Mule-Eared Deer Ears
In October, Jami's class visited Nick's Garden Center for their Fall Festival.  The boys had fun jumping in the bounce castle, riding the haunted train, washing their pumpkins, playing in the hay maze, racing pedal carts, and taking a tractor hay ride through the Tunnel of Terror.

High-fiving Daddy after racing Mommy and Jamison on the pedal carts
 In late October, we had a joint gymnastics birthday party for Cayden and Jamison at the Trails Recreation Center.  All the kids had a total blast playing games, doing the obstacle course, playing with the parachute, and eating pizza and cake.

Playing on the parallel bars

Taking charge while blowing out the candles on their cake

Testing out Jami's birthday present from Mommy and Daddy (Cayden got a cool Tonka dump truck, but couldn't resist getting on the bike!)
The week after the party, we let Cayden and Jamison each choose a special thing to do for their own Special Birthday Day.  Jamison chose to go to "the Farmers' Market", as he called it.  Over the summer, I often took the boys to our local Farmers' Market at a nearby mall to buy veggies and then they'd play in the fountain after we finished shopping.  Technically, I think that's what Jami wanted to do, but since the market was over by then, we told him we were going to a different 'Farmers' Market' and went to a REAL farm.  We saw lots of animals and took our own private hayride out into the fields where we picked our own veggies - corn, carrots, onions, potatoes, cabbage, and pumpkins!


Carrots, fresh from the Earth!

He couldn't get enough of this tractor

For Cayden's Special Birthday Day, he chose to go to the zoo.  It was the first time all four of us were able to go during the day (we went last year for Zoo Lights, but didn't see the animals.)  They loved the train ride and feeding the lorikeets and pressing all of the buttons on the displays.  (I think they enjoyed seeing the animals too!)

All aboard!

Feeding a lorikeet with Daddy

Then there was Halloween.  Cayden was a fireman this year and he just LOVED the whole experience!  At the first house, he rang the doorbell and when they answered, he tried to go inside their house.  A couple times early on, he tried giving some of his candy to the person who answered the door.  Then there are those people who stick a whole bowlful of candy in front of an almost-three-year-old:  of course Cayden started grabbing handfuls of loot and stuffing it into his Elmo bucket!   But by the end of our block, he got the hang of it and would say, "Trick or treat!" and "Thank you!" right on cue. 

Ready to ring some doorbells and score some goodies!
Potty training is still a work in progress.  He's back to wearing a diaper full time because he absolutely will NOT poop in the potty.  He had the peeing part down, but for some reason, he won't go #2 in there.  He loves sitting on the potty and will pee on it any time you ask or remind him.  The first couple of months, we were very good about asking him all day long and he hardly ever peed in his diaper, but I have to admit I've been lax about enforcing the issue, so we haven't made much progress toward wearing Big Boy Underwear. 

I guess that covers about everything we've done around here lately.  Tomorrow is going to be a busy day for the Birthday Boy!   And just as I hoped, recounting all of the fun things we've done lately has helped me smile and made me feel better.  :-)

School Daze

My intention was to post another update a couple weeks ago while Jason was home (and well before Cayden's third birthday, which is in two days), but we packed so much into those two weeks Jason was home and I just never had a chance to sit at the computer and type!

In my last post, I mentioned that we had Cayden evaluated for physical therapy again.  Our Developmental Pathways coordinator, Alex, and the therapist who joined her for the evaluation both agreed he'd benefit from PT services, so we were re-approved for two visits a month.  The therapist turned out not to be very reliable - she cancelled, had to reschedule, or walked out in the middle of five out of the seven visits we were supposed to have, and I think we only ended up actually seeing her three times.  And during those visits, I don't think we accomplished much - she wanted to meet at the park for our visits, and all Cayden really did was swing on the swings, slide on the slide, and ride on the teeter-totter, all things I could have done without her.  Her observations and advice were inconsistent and pretty much useless, so that whole experience was a disappointment.

However, we've had a better experience with the occupational therapist he saw three times in the past month.  Here's how that came about:  The Early Intervention services provided by Developmental Pathways are only offered until a child turns 3.  As their third birthday approaches, the child has a "transition evaluation", where they are evaluated by a team of professionals through the child's school district to determine if the child needs ongoing services. 

In early October, I took Cayden for his transition evaluation, where he was assessed by a special education teacher, an occupational therapist, and a speech therapist, all from the Cherry Creek School District, during a play-based evaluation.  Alex, was there as well.  I had mentioned my concerns about his clumsiness and his inability to self-regulate, and they kept this in mind while they observed and interacted with him for an hour.  It didn't take them long to agree that he would absolutely benefit from ongoing services through the school district.  Apparently, all of these behaviors that have been confounding us and really trying our patience - the bouncing nonstop from one topic to another, the constant chattering and nonstop talking, the clumsiness, the not listening and not following directions, the hypersensitivity to criticism or discipline, the stuffing his mouth when he eats, the hyperactivity in general - they are all signs of sensory processing disorder.  Although the school district doesn't give a medical diagnosis, their observations convinced them that he qualifies for pre-school services through Cherry Creek School District, and they highly encouraged Alex to put in a request to restart occupational therapy sessions through Developmental Pathways up until Cayden started school.

Apparently, these "sensory issues" are very common in preemies and usually start manifesting after their second birthday and can greatly benefit from occupational therapy.  Cayden was discharged from OT just before his second birthday because at that time, he was meeting all his milestones.  If we had kept OT going, they would have noticed the emerging sensory behaviors and maybe we could have gotten a better jump on reigning Cayden in, but I'm glad it's been recognized now and that we're getting the services we need.

So after the transition evaluation, we were able to squeeze in three home visits with an occupational therapist and I am so grateful!  Within 15 minutes of meeting Cayden, the therapist said, "Oh, yeah.  He's a classic sensory kid!"  She's given us all kinds of tips and exercises and things to do to help manage Cayden's behavior and get him on the path to self-regulation.  In people with sensory processing disorder, sensory signals don't get organized into appropriate responses.  They can have issues with any or all of the senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch, movement - and they can be over-responsive or under-responsive.  Cayden is an under-responder.  A quote from the Sensory Processing Diorder Foundation's website sums him up perfectly:  "Children (with under-responsive SPD) exhibit an appetite for sensation that is in perpetual overdrive."  There is way too much to go into detail about in this blog, but if you're interested, check out the SPD Foundation's website here.

As a result of the transition evaluation, we had Cayden's IEP meeting the first week in November and they suggested we start him in pre-school just before his third birthday.  It all came about so fast and honestly, I wasn't quite ready to let him go!  We barely had two months of Mommy and Cayden time during the mornings Jamison was in pre-school, and I didn't feel like we got to really take advantage of that time together.  But the bottom line is that Cayden was SO ready to go to pre-school and the sooner we continued on with services through the school, the better off he would be.  Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to start him at Aspen Crossing Elementary last Thursday, November 14th.  He's at the same school as Jamison, but there are two different pre-school classes, and they're each in a different class with different teachers but they share the same specialists.  Cayden will be getting occupational therapy while he's there, as well as working with a special education teacher and speech therapist.  (Side note:  during the transition evaluation, everyone was blown away by Cayden's advanced, articulate, thoughtful speech, so there aren't really any concerns on that end, it's more the receptive speech skills - or paying attention, focusing, listening, and following directions - where he needs help!)

Sure enough, Cayden's first day of school saw him running through the door, leaving me holding his backpack and jacket, waiting for a hug or a kiss or at least a "Goodbye, Mommy!", but I got nothing of the sort.  He ran straight to a table full of other kids, sat down, and started coloring.  I had to yell his name several times before he finally looked up so I could take his picture on his first day of school:

I'll be fine, Mommy - I love it here!

With his backpack on, SO excited for his first day!

Go Marmots!!

Well, I had intended to catch up on all of the other fun stuff we've done over the past couple of months, but it looks like this post ended up being long enough just talking about the transition evaluation/OT/PT/SPD stuff.  I guess I'll end this for now and hopefully post again soon with pictures and details about all of our other adventures in September, October, and November!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Promises, promises

I promised in my last post that I would write again in the next couple of days, but lo and behold, that didn't happen.  I am sitting at my computer in the basement, scarfing down my dinner while the nanny gives the boys a bath and gets them ready for bed.  I have 37 minutes before she leaves and I know I can't finish all I want to say before she leaves, but I am starting it with the intention that this will force me to come back down here to the basement after I go up and tuck the boys in (instead of collapsing on the couch or tending to other things that only get done while the little angels are sleeping!)

So where did I leave off last time?  Looks like the last thing I talked about was the March for Babies at the end of April.  Jason went back to work (this time, in Nigeria) a couple days after the March, so the boys and I did our best to keep busy.  It was a difficult transition because Jason was home for almost three months and the boys really got used to having him around. 

At the beginning of May, we started both boys in swimming lessons again.  They took a two-week course last summer, but now I think they're ready for more.  Cayden is in a parent and me class and Jami is in a class with his teacher and three other kids.  Kiddos have to be in the parent and tot class until they turn 3, and Cayden is the oldest in his class.  He doesn't follow directions very well and really just wants to splash around and do his own thing.  He got to do the classes with Mommy for the first two months, but once Daddy came home in July, Daddy had the pleasure of getting in the pool with him.  Seems like Cayden did a little better with Daddy than he did with Mommy.  Now that Jason is gone again, I've been back in the pool with him and it seems like he's a little more cooperative, but still not great.  These lessons are continuous and year-round, so we're going to keep going for as long as it takes him to learn to swim!  Once he turns 3 in November, he can go into a class like his brother is in and I'm hoping he'll do better with listening to an instructor without Mommy or Daddy around. 
Being a fish with Daddy

Over Memorial Day weekend, I took the boys to the Denver Day of Rock to see the Railbenders and Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.  It's an outdoor concert put on by Concerts For Kids, a local charity that helps support over 50 child-focused health and education organizations through its multiple fundraising events and community service projects.  This was Jami's fourth time and Cayden's second time, but it was my first time taking both boys without Jason's help.  Thank goodness for some of my best friends, Laura and Bridget, and for so many of my other "Rocky Tonk Union" friends who gave me a hand.  Cayden started screaming and crying and pretty much had a full-on panic attack/meltdown as soon as the first band started playing.  We were kind of close to the stage, off to one side, so we kept moving farther and farther back until he calmed down.  (Never mind that we were now six miles away from the stage...)  We inched closer and closer and he finally decided he was o.k. with all the ruckus, so long as he was perched on a pretty girl's shoulders...
The best seat in the house!
Hanging out with Aunt Bee

Getting comfy with Bridget
 In early June, we went to the Centennial Airport to see a restored World War II B17 aircraft.  We walked through the hangar and onto the tarmac just as the plane was taxiing in.  Cayden freaked out.  Once it came to a stop and the engines stopped, he calmed down a little.  He ended up having a great time driving around in the little metal airplanes that Wings Over the Rockies (one of the sponsors of the event) had there for the kids to play with.

As I alluded to in the previous post, we took another trip to Keystone in July after Jason came home.  Grammy Janene and Poppa Dan joined us for a nice long weekend in the picturesque mountain town.  On the way up, we stopped to ride the Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Railroad.  Cayden was not a fan of the noisy train and its loud whistle.  (Do you see a pattern here?  I'm a bit concerned he may have some sensory/overstimulation issues when it comes to noise, which is common in preemies.)  Over the next three days, we went for a bike ride, took a little hike and threw rocks in the creek, played in the village square and did the spider bungee!  Both boys have been crazy about jumping on Jamison's big boy bed, so we figured we'd try the bungee thing.  Jamison loved it, but we thought Cayden was too little to take a turn.  When the operator guy weighed him and said he just barely made the weight limit, we asked Cayden if he wanted to try, and he said, "Yes!"  He was a little quiet at first but by the end, he was doing flips and having a blast. (See the pictures in the previous post...)
Getting belly blows from Grammy while Poppa looks on
We took the boys to the Arapahoe County Fair later in July, where Cayden got to ride his first carousel and ate his first corndog (he loved both!)
The first weekend in August, we went to the NICU Graduate Preemie Picnic, where we saw lots of Cayden's old nurses and therapists.  He had a good old time checking out the fire engine, jumping in the bounce house, riding the train, getting a guitar painted on his arm, and eating lots of hot dogs and cake.  The best part was seeing Nurse Megan, one of our favorite primary nurses!
Ready to roll in the back of the fire engine

Sizing up his old NICU buddy, Miss Bianca

Giving Nurse Megan a high five
When the movie Planes came out, we thought it would be the perfect movie to take the boys to for their first theater movie experience.  Jamison loved it and watched the whole thing with Daddy.  Cayden was not the least bit interested and after the 20 minutes of previews, he lasted through about the first two minutes of the actual movie before I had to take him out in the lobby.  We tried going back inside several times, but he just kicked and fidgeted and squirmed and thrashed and yelled so much that we ended up having to leave again and again.  We missed the whole movie, and won't be trying THAT again with him anytime soon!
Cayden seemed to be showing a lot of interest in the potty, so we officially started potty training him toward the end of July.  He was so excited to wear big boy underwear and get a couple M&Ms for going pee on the potty!  He got the hang of the pee part very quickly, but six weeks later, he STILL will not poop on the potty - he keeps going in his underwear.  I am at my wit's end with him and am not quite sure what to do.  As of today, we've switched to using Pull Ups instead of underwear because I am DONE with washing poopy underwear four times a day!  We'll see if that does the trick.  It may just be that he's still too young to get it.  The good news is that Jamison (who we tried to potty train by himself twice before this) saw Cayden doing it and then he decided he wanted to do it too, so Jamison pretty much potty trained in two days!
I don't always poop in my underwear...sometimes I just let it drop right on the floor!  But I'm so stinkin' cute,
Mommy and Daddy can't be mad at me.  They just shake their heads, laugh, and take a picture!
On August 11th, Daddy went back to Nigeria for another two months.  The first couple days were really tough and both boys were acting out a lot, crying, throwing food at mealtimes, and just generally expressing their displeasure at missing Daddy.  As usually happens, they both adjusted to the change pretty quickly, although Cayden still cries, "Daaaa Deeee!  I want my Daddy" on a daily basis whenever I scold him or make him pick up his toys or deny him something he wants.
Jamison started preschool two weeks ago, so Cayden and I have three hours together in the mornings four days a week.  I thought it would be so nice to have time with just the two of us, but I've been selfish:  every day after we drop Jami off, I head to the gym to exercise and stretch for a good 90 minutes.  Cayden has been enjoying playing in the gym daycare and I get the mental break and physical exercise I need to function and feel energized, so I figure it's what's best for everyone. 
Earlier this week, we had Alex, our coordinator from Developmental Pathways, come back out to our house with a new physical therapist to evaluate Cayden.  He will qualify for these services until he turns three, so even though he was discharged from PT earlier this year, we wanted to have him checked out again since he seems to be pretty clumsy.  He often stumbles around like a drunk sailor and falls down a lot, especially when he's tired or really wound up.  Alex and the physical therapist both agreed he could benefit from some more PT sessions to build his core strength and address some other issues, so we'll be having home visits twice a month starting in a couple weeks.  They also said we may want to consider having an orthotic evaluation again to see if maybe some shoe inserts can help, so we may be doing that again soon.
Although the boys have been having fun at the spray grounds and splashing in our kiddie pool in the back yard, I think we're all looking forward to it cooling off some.  Fall is my favorite time of year, filled with birthdays and holidays, so it can't come soon enough!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Pardon the huge gap between entries

Holy moly.  I can't believe it's been almost four months since I last posted something in here!  Bad mommy.  Busy mommy!  Does anyone still check in here and read this blog?!  I wouldn't blame you for giving up on checking in.

The kick in the butt to get back on here came from a conversation I had with my Grandma Lena (Nonna Lena to the boys) today on the phone.  She said something about how it's been so long since we've talked on the computer (I think she meant by Skype, which we do occasionally via my dad's (Grandpa Ray's) computer.  It reminded me that my dad and little sister (Aunt Vickie) will invite my grandma down to join in on those Skype sessions sometimes, and that they also show her whenever there are new entries and pictures on this blog.  Who am I to deny my 93-year-old grandma seeing pictures of her great-grandson?

I have to be honest, though:  tonight, I don't have the time to write or upload all the pictures I'd like to that will fill in the gaps with all we've done since the last blog entry. 

I promise I will try to get back here in the next day or two though.  For now, I'll leave you with a couple pictures from our trip to Keystone in July...

Getting cozy with Jamison in the bike trailer
Steering the paddle boat while Dad pedals and Mom and Jami feed the fish on Keystone Lake
Bungee trampolining!!!
Flying high and LOVING it!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The March for Babies 2013

Today was the second time we participated in the March of Dimes annual fundraiser, the March for Babies.  It was a gloriously beautiful day for our three mile walk, and we were so lucky to have seven adults, six under-three-year-olds, and one doggy named Daisy on our team this year.
Team Cayden Ferguson 2013 - Alecia, Bridget, Sarah, Laura, Carter, Robin, Jason, Christa,
Jonah in the snugglie and Gage, Sophie, Cayden, and Jamison in the strollers
Especially special was the fact that Jason was home this year and was able to join us.  We brought both boys and the stroller, but Cayden ended up walking about half of the course! His favorite part was giving high fives to the line of about a dozen volunteers who stood cheering along the side of the course.  Oh, and eating hot dogs and chips at the end of the walk, of course.  Always about the food!
Marching with Daddy
We took quite awhile to finish and straggled in after more than an hour of walking, but we managed to get some food and caught a glimpse of the story board I submitted that was hung in the family teams pavilion.  We missed out on the balloon artist and face painting, but the kids were happy nonetheless.
Partial team photo at the start/finish line

Cayden's story board
Thanks to contributions from so many friends and family members, I was able to reach my personal fundraising goal.  We fell slightly short of our team fundraising goal, but I still think we did very well overall, and I'm happy to say we were able to raise over $1600 for the March of Dimes!
Our team shirts said "Team Cayden Ferguson".
Cayden's shirt said "I am Cayden Ferguson!",
and Cayden says thank you to everyone who donated.

In other news, just after we got home from the March, Cayden said he wanted to go potty on the big potty - and he pooped on the potty!!  He loves sitting on the big potty with the Winnie the Pooh insert, or on the Elmo potty, or the other little potty we have for the boys.  Jason and I haven't really been pushing him to wear underwear or to go on the potty after the experience we've had with Jamison, but I think Cayden may be ready to be fully potty trained!  Amazing!
I don't think I ever mentioned the parent and tot gymnastics classes I took both boys to a few months ago.  It was once a week for four weeks, and it all happened during a time when Jason was out of town.  When I signed up for the class, they assured me I should be able to do it with only one parent and two tots.  Ha.  It was pure craziness!  It seemed to be 45 minutes of one or both of the boys either trying to run around the room and not listening to the instructor, not participating with the group, trying to run out the door and down the hall, or throwing a screaming, crying tantrum in the class.  There were a few moments where they had fun - when group time was over and they were allowed to run free around the room and do whatever obstacles they wanted.  They swung from bars, did back bends and somersaults, played with a nylon parachute and lots of colored balls, rolled down inclined mats, jumped on a mini trampoline, and generally burned a lot of energy.  After those first four weeks, I couldn't get them into the next class, but we found an open gym hour at a different recreation center nearby.  Jason and I took both boys to that open gym several times over the past few months he's been home and they've really enjoyed it.  We're starting another four week session of the parent and tot gymnastics class in May, and I hope it goes better than the last time!
Bouncing from one activity to another during open gymnastics time
We also finally signed the boys up for swimming lessons again.  Cayden will be in a 30-minute parent and me class once a week, four times a month, for as long as we want to keep going.  Jamison will be in a class on his own immediately after Cayden's class, so hopefully we'll get them swimming like fish soon.  We bought them some goggles to get them excited (like Cayden needs anything to get him more excited about going to the "simming poo!"), and they've been loving wearing them in the bathtub.
We finally found out that Jason will be leaving again, and soon.  This time, he'll be heading to Nigeria for two months, departing on April 30th.  We know the boys are going to miss him terribly since he's been home for so long this time, so we've been trying to prepare them.  Cayden has gotten really attached to his Daddy and does not like to divert from the routine.  If I take the boys somewhere without Jason, Cayden will scream and cry in the van the entire time, "DADDY!!  I want Daddy!!"  If Jason tries to sit in a different seat from his usual one when we are at the dinner table, Cayden gets really upset and says, "No!  Mommy's chair, Daddy!"  and refuses to eat until Jason sits in "his" chair.  I'm afraid what this giant change in his routine is going to do to him.  He's been behaving pretty well lately, and I think it's because he's getting lots of time with and attention from both of his parents.  It's going to be a long 60 days while Jason is gone!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Second adjusted birthday

I just wanted to note the occasion that yesterday - February 28th, 2013 - was the day Cayden should have turned two.  Instead, he is 3 months, 1 week, and 2 days into his third year already.

Although he seems to be caught up on all of his other developmental milestones, I think he just got the memo about The Terrible Twos -- all of a sudden, within the last week, this boy is all about defiance and testing the limits!  He is no longer just babbling.  He is talking nonstop, very animated and sing-songy all the time, and his vocabulary has just exploded!  He's speaking in three-word sentences, but his new favorite thing to say is just one word:  NO!!!!!!!!!  It's driving Jason and me nuts, but because he's still so stinkin' cute, we haven't lost it with him yet!

We were able to get away as a family last week for a few days in the mountains in Keystone, Colorado.  I loved every minute of it even though it seemed like both boys hated every minute! 

Day 1:  Cayden, you'll need to sleep in your pack & play - NO!!!!! 
Sleeping in the big boy bed with Jamison

Let's go out to dinner.  It's cold out.  Put on your mittens - NO!!!!  Sit in this high chair -  NO!!!!!!! 

Day 2:  We tried ice skating - NO!!!  Tried pulling them on a sled behind me while I skated - NO!!!!! Cayden cried so hard and so long, he washed all the sunscreen off his cheeks and they got burned and chapped! 

Ooh, look at the nice, big horsies that are going to pull us on this wonderful sleigh ride up the mountain - WAAAAA!!!  PANIC ATTACK!!! 

Dinner in a yurt?  NO!!!!  Hot chocolate on the sleigh?  NO!  I WANT MY BINKY!!!

Day 3:  Snow tubing - NO!!!!  More crying and screaming and more sunburn/chapping. 

Despite how it sounds, there were a few tear-free, happy moments - riding in Daddy's truck instead of the minivan (the weather forecast said it was supposed to snow about 10" while we were there, so we moved the car seats into the 4-wheel drive Tundra and took that.  We barely saw a flurry the whole time we were there.  Figures.)  Both boys loved the indoor swimming pool, but once it was time to get out, it was more NO!!!!!!!!!!  Riding in the elevator and pushing all the buttons for every floor and the alarm was great fun apparently, too.  And Cayden loved climbing up on the ledge of the picture window in the condo.

A couple days after we got home to Denver, we got our biggest snowstorm of the winter.  Once again, we tried getting the boys out in it to have some fun, pulling them around the neighborhood in a sled, but were met with more screaming and crying and NO!!!!!!  Cayden did settle down a bit to help clear a path through the back yard.  He refused to put on a warmer coat, though.

We'll see how much more fun and adventure we can pack into the next few days before Jason heads out of the country again for two months.  He's going to Nigeria this time.  NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!